You watched this entire movie? What is the matter with you?
Many things, America. Many, many things.
The title of the movie contains a question mark. Is there some philosophical uncertainty as to whether or not the cat talks in this film?
Well, the level of skill and expertise involved in the CGI makes the effect of the cat talking seamless. I had absolutely no doubt that our protagonist was speaking as a solid black rhombus appeared over his mouth, with two of its opposing vertices moving up and down to change its area in sync with his words. Though, to be clear, they weren’t just anybody’s words. They were Eric Roberts‘ words.
Eric Roberts? What the fuck?
Not only does Eric provide the voice of our feline friend “Duffy”, but he delivers each line as if he was recorded over a $10 flip phone. In all likelihood, he had no idea that he was going to be in this film, and the director just told the sound guy to nonchalantly sit near him at a Starbucks and press record. Eric provides many insights about the world, about life, and even refers to himself as a “human whisperer” at one point. All of these lines would make perfect sense as things Eric would say in his day-to-day life. I’m pretty sure that this film is meant to be nothing more than an accompanying video track for the audio, like The Wizard of Oz and “Dark Side of the Moon”.
“You’re a cat. And you’re talking?”
24 minutes and 3 seconds in, Duffy finally talks for the first time. 24 minutes and 8 seconds in, I had to pause the film because my laughing just would not stop. I had to collect my thoughts. But really, that black quadrilateral is just too awesome for words. It should remain a rhombus throughout its scaling transformation, but they somehow fuck that up and its sides are not all congruent at every moment. Anyway, shortly before he speaks, he thinks in his head about wanting to look at a teenage girl’s “beeping machine”. For a brief moment, I thought the film was moving in a bold adult direction, but it turns out that he was just referring to her laptop. Anyway, he commands the girl, Tina, to check her “beeping machine”. I still can’t get the image of a cybernetic vagina out of my head.
You’ve got problems, man.
So what is this movie about?
It doesn’t matter. 29 minutes and 38 seconds in, Duffy talks again, this time to a recent retiree with a soul patch. Duffy’s advice is for the man to take a long walk off a short pier in the woods. The retiree apparently loses his mind the next morning, as he is wearing a T-shirt that says “Un pinche dia a la vez” (Spanish for “A fucking day at a time.”) I thought this was a children’s film, guys. Is that language really necessary?
34 minutes and 35 seconds in, and Duffy’s at it again, this time giving Tina’s brother an encouraging pep talk about his future. At one point, Duffy says that humans can’t enjoy the journey because they’re too focused on the destination. Duffy slurs the word “destination”, making it sound like “decimation”. Eric Roberts takes five and downs a shot bottle of Stolichnaya or three in the bathroom. Part of me weeps because Duffy has claimed that he can only talk to each person once. Placing a hard limit on the number of cat talking scenes is just cruel. Why else would anyone watch this movie? It should be 80 minutes of solid black quadrilaterals imposed on a visibly annoyed feline. Who gives a shit about this story?
But they discuss Hamlet in one scene! That’s pretty erudite right there.
42 minutes and 56 seconds in, we have cat talking scene #4. This time, Duffy tells the soul-patched retiree’s son that it’s time to seal the deal with the girl he’s tutoring in English this summer. He does it in a more roundabout way, though, by talking about not letting one setback get you down, etc. I realize now, looking at the screenshots closely, that the black quadrilaterals are not actually quadrilaterals, as they have curved boundaries. This is like realizing that Santa Claus isn’t real. What am I going to do with myself?
Tell me more about these curved boundaries.
I forget the exact name of the function you would use to describe it on the Cartesian plane. I’m sorry. I failed you, and I failed the Enterprise. But it’s basically a cosine wave, shifted up vertically by its amplitude, restricted to the domain [-PI, PI] and graphed along with its reflection over the x-axis. Then its interior (and, I suppose, its boundary) are filled in with solid black and placed over a disinterested cat’s mouth. I’m just fascinated by all of this, if you couldn’t tell. Anyway, the teenage son is apparently going to get laid at some point. What a riveting story this is.
At least you still have this awesome soundtrack to listen to.
Yes, it is really something. After deep ruminations on the subject, I’ve decided that the best analogy for the music in this film is the soundtrack to the Sega Genesis game Rolo to the Rescue. I don’t mean to insult that game’s soundtrack, as it was perfectly fine. But A Talking Cat!?!‘s soundtrack is sort of like if the composer of Rolo to the Rescue‘s soundtrack had considerably less talent and considerably more alcohol. They also have some cheap Casio steel drums mixed in there. It’s just incredible stuff, really.
Is this movie over yet?
53 minutes and 27 seconds in. The soul-patched retiree Phil, attempting to hit on his neighbor, drops her “cheese puffs” when he is startled by Duffy’s presence at her house. Her daughter, Tina, realizes that he is the guy who programmed some important systems for some company, which aligns perfectly with her interests and goals in business, and wants to talk to him. However, the mother, distraught at her destroyed cheese puffs, demands that Tina make another batch. I realize now that the battle for the survival of humanity will not be fought in the future, but instead will be fought here. Tonight. There is me, and there is this movie. This is like Egg Shen and Lo Pan fighting with those giant Zu warriors that shoot out of their hands. This is it. You’re not going to beat me, A Talking Cat!?! Let’s finish this.
It can’t really get any worse, can it?
1 hour 9 minutes in. Duffy, on his way to the final cat talking scene, is hit by a car. WHAT THE FUCK? GOD FUCKING DAMMIT A Talking Cat!?! I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU
But he didn’t die! The “vet made him comfortable”!
Oh, ok. Deep breaths. Deep breaths.
Is some gauze half-assedly wrapped around Duffy’s head really proper veterinary care?
I don’t know. I just thank God that he’s alive. It must be all the booze making his body not tense up. Anyway, even though Duffy has only spoken to 4 of the 6 characters, they still have the majority needed to embark on a 2 minute quest to find his magical collar in the woods. Once obtained and placed onto Duffy, the magical cat rolls around while rays of shining light radiate off of him. The sequence ends with a little miniature CGI firework erupting at the bottom of the screen, followed by a translucent green sphere traveling upwards. I don’t even know if I’m still alive right now.
“I’m Duffy. I’m a talking cat.”
Well, all is right with the world. Duffy is still alive. Eric Roberts is still drunk. We’re where we’ve always been. We’re where we were meant to be. This is it, America. These are our lives. Good night, and God bless.